BASOVCA debunks alleged illegal 5% deductions from orphans’ allowances, says charges approved

The Bauchi State Agency for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (BASOVCA) has debunked media reports that the agency illegally deducted 5 percent from a donation made by Saudi based NGO, International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) meant for the orphans in the state.

Some women group in the state had earlier in the week staged a peaceful demonstration against the said deductions by BASOVCA, calling on the anti graft agencies to launch an investigation into the matter.

The group known as women coalition for sustainable peace and viable democratic gains had appealed to the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed and the anti-graft agencies to compel BASOVCA that distributed the relief assistance donated to orphans by International Islamic Relief Organization, a Saudi NGO to return the five percent it removed from the money.

Reacting on the reports, the Director, Community Mobilization of BASOVCA, Abdullahi Ibrahim told WikkiTimes on Friday in Bauchi that the allegation is unfounded and politically motivated.

He explained that in 2018 when International Islamic Relief Organization started disbursing allowances to orphans, there was an agreement in a meeting that was conducted by the Bauchi state government, chaired by the former Secretary to the Bauchi State Government (SSG) and the deduction of 13 percent was approved.

According to Ibrahim, the management and the board met and agreed that the 13 percent approved by the previous government was higher hence, decided to reduce it to to 5 percent for both, handling and administrative charges.

Abdullahi explained that each of the beneficiaries signed the mandate withdrawal that directed the bank that any amount that is credited to the account, 13 percent should be deducted.

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He said that the orphans received the allowances through cheques in line with the directives given by the international Islamic relief organization that there should be a bank account number.

“Around 2017 we received a letter from the IIRO informing BASOVCA that they have enrolled about 984 orphans that will benefit from their educational support and they invited us for a meeting in which we went to Kaduna and we had the meeting. “Myself, and others were at their office in Kaduna, we had a meeting with the country director where he informed us about that enrollment in which they did it somewhere around 2008 and 2011 and he told us that due to some challenges they have in their office in Nigeria, the orphans in Nigeria were not able to receive their allowances”.

Ibrahim said; “after 7 to 8 years they decided to open their office in Kaduna and start operating. That’s the reason why they called us. “So, we had a fruitful meeting with him in which at the end he approved that BASOVCA should take charge of that orphans and he gave us all the records and after we came back, their office in Kaduna wrote a letter to Bauchi State Government informing it about the issue of orphans they enrolled in which they inform the government that BASOVCA should take charge of that office and that’s the reason why we came in”.

“So, we took charge, moving around all nooks and crannies trying to find these orphans in which from the 94 that we were able to traced in 2018, in 2020 we were able to traced about 372”, he said.

Abdullahi added that the the current charges is voluntarily offered to the agency by the orphans upon receiving the cash.

On what the agency does with monies allocated to orphans that are untraceable, he said “this problem is not only in Bauchi, is in more than 10 states in northern Nigeria, in fact they even recommended to BASOVCA because it is the agency that was able to bring more than 70 percent of the orphans but in other states they cannot even trace half and if they don’t find the orphans they don’t use to give the money to anybody. The money is with them and not with BASOVCA and nobody has access to that money even their office in Kaduna”.

Ibrahim while expressing their resolve to continue to use the media to enlighten and sensitize the public to know the actual position of things, added that the essence of BASOVCA is to help the orphans, the ‘vulnerable children in the state.

“It is the mandate that was given to the agency and that’s what we are doing. Thank God that we have received recommendations from the IIRO that it is only Bauchi state that was able to traced more than 70 percent of their orphans. So this is something that is commendable”. He concluded.


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